Guiding Middle School Students Toward their Next Big Step

 In Camelot Blog

One of the big roles teachers play is that of a mentor. In mentoring middle school students, that includes helping students choose the high school that best suits their needs.

Middle school students at Camelot’s Cunningham Academy in Vineland, NJ, recently visited the Cumberland County Technology Education Center high school to find if they were interested in applying to the program when they graduate from Cunningham. The middle school transitional students were excited and enthusiastic when they visited the campus.

Hamidullah Lundy, Cunningham Academy’s program manager said the tour gave the students a broader perspective about the opportunities available to them.

“Of course, they were excited but most importantly they got to see what opportunities are available to them in terms of their career choices,” Lundy said. “We also toured Vineland High School. It’s imperative that [our] students are exposed to a broader view regarding the choices for their futures.”

Cunningham Academy is a transitional school. Students in this program have experienced behavioral violations and were removed from their home campus. Students from this campus will return to their home schools with improved behavior, attendance, and academics.

Cumberland County Technology Education Center is a four-year vocational public high school. It has a wide range of programs. Health sciences and medical center, studio production and broadcasting, engineering, law enforcement, and construction trades are just some of the education options open to students looking to attend.

Jelitza Figueroa, 14, went on the tour and found it inspirational. “I’ve already put in my application to attend. It really gave us an idea of the prospects to progress. Cunningham Academy is a great school and the teachers and staff have really helped me. I’m a better student and a better person because of my time here.”

Jaqui Parfit, also 14, said he plans to submit an application. He said Cunningham Academy is not like regular middle schools. “You get a lot of individual help here. The teachers really want to help you to succeed. The mentoring gives you a sense that you have value as a person and that improves behavior.”

In order for the students to be eligible to participate in high school tours, they have to meet three criteria: improved behavior, solid attendance, and academic progress.

“One of the best things for the students about the tour was they got to sit in on actual sessions,” Lundy said. “So they were able to see themselves engaging in the actual training. We wanted them to be able to visualize themselves being at Cumberland, and that’s part of the mentoring we do with them. These kids need the extra support and it’s something we’re constantly engaged in with them. That makes a difference in their outlook for the future and how they see themselves.”

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